Digitalization has led to a reformation of conducting business. Today, any small or large company can reach customers residing at any location in the world. While small companies have been fast enough to embrace these digitalization tactics to enhance efficiency, productivity, and ROI, they have almost ignored the security aspect. Whether you plan to adopt cloud computing or simply maintain a website for your customers, security must be a vital part of your strategy.
Cybersecurity, the Most Important Factor to Consider as an SMB
It’s easy to think that cyberattackers will target large enterprises to gain maximum results. But that’s not how it goes. The thing is that enterprises are normally large organizations with dedicated teams and budgets to secure their networks. They can invest in security tools and services, such as VAPT, firewall, cloud security, SIEM, EDR, and teams to monitor their network 24/7. Hence, the attackers are likely to face more resistance. Thus, the adversaries try to target SMBs to get their job done quickly. In fact, 63% of SMBs have reported experiencing a cyber breach in 2019, up from 58% in 2018 and 54% in 2017. Additionally, only 14% of SMBs feel that their security is effective enough to breach advanced threats. The numbers hint that SMBs prove to be the easier targets for attackers.
Another reason for SMBs to start focusing on security is the changing threat landscape. If you think that why attackers will waste their time trying to penetrate SMB networks, think again. Automation has been a boon, but not only for businesses. It has also proven helpful for cyberattackers.
While penetrating enterprise servers needs designing targeted attacks, infecting SMBs is easy, thanks to their ineffective security tools. Hence, adversaries develop automated software that can go on the internet, find vulnerable organizations, try to attack, and if the attack is successful, steal data, all by itself. Cybersecurity is, therefore, the most vital factor that SMBs need to consider. However, SMBs face numerous challenges securing themselves.
Challenges Faced by SMBs in Securing Their IT Posture
Unlike enterprises, securing an SMB is a completely different thing. The challenges faced here are way more complicated. Here are some of the challenges that SMBs face.
• Mindset: As already established, the mindset that attackers won’t target SMBs is one of the major challenges facing SMBs. There are definitely attackers out there looking to target small businesses as the odds of detecting breaches in SMBs are less compared to enterprises.
• Enterprise-level security needs but different budgets: Owing to technological advancements, the amount of data collected by businesses, regardless of the size or complexity, is abundant. This makes the security needs for both SMBs and enterprises similar. However, the budgets still remain different. The SMBs don’t have a similar amount to spend on security tools, people, awareness, etc.
• Lack of human resources: SMBs face human resource challenges, which is arisen due to a lack of budget. To overcome the budget constraints, most SMBs hire a single employee to handle multiple responsibilities. Although this releases a bit of pressure on the budget aspect, it leads to in-depth strategy implementation to detect, prevent, and respond to risks.
• No risk assessments: Since most SMBs think they won’t be targeted, they feel that there’s no need to conduct risk assessments. This further increases the loopholes, making it easier for the adversaries. Hence, it is essential for SMBs to conduct periodic vulnerability assessments and periodic testings to analyze their security requirements and loopholes.
• Unawareness: Since there is no dedication to research about the latest happenings in the cybersecurity world, SMBs cannot cope with and prevent the innovative methods used by the attackers from breaching their systems.
• Lack of time: With limited resources, SMBs can hardly focus on security as they are busy focusing on core revenue areas. Thus, they don’t get enough time to research about the latest techniques and tactics used by the adversaries to penetrate systems.
• Lack of security training: Cybersecurity of your organization is not only handled by the security team, all the employees play an equally important role. Mistakes are made by humans, and this is the biggest factor contributing to successful attacks. SMBs don’t have enough budget, time, and resources to train their employees about cybersecurity best practices.
• The increasing number of endpoints: With the introduction of new devices, such as cloud computing and IoT, many endpoint devices have increased significantly. As SMBs quickly adopt these technologies to increase efficiency, it increases the skills and security gaps within the organization.
Best Cybersecurity Practices for SMBs
Although securing SMBs is challenging compared to enterprises, it cannot be an excuse to ignore the importance of cybersecurity in today’s digital world. Hence, you need to build a cybersecurity strategy that implies all the best practices to ensure optimal security.
● Implement Baseline Security Tools & Procedures
Implementing advanced security tools should be the ultimate goal for SMBs, but the importance of baseline tools cannot be neglected. These baseline tools, including firewall, anti-virus, patch management, email or web filters, should be implemented and maintained regularly.
● Conducted Timely Assessments
Cybersecurity is not an implement once and forget procedure. Hence, even after implementing security protocols, you need to regularly conduct VAPT assessments on your IT infrastructure to ensure no deviations and loopholes in the posture.
● Educate Your Employees
To err is human, and the same is true in cybersecurity. According to a Verizon DBIR 2021 report, around 85% of all breaches involve the human element. Hence, it is considered to be the top security risk for SMBs. The only way to solve this issue is by educating your employees. You need to help your employees be aware of the latest tricks and tactics used by the attackers for data breaches. Providing a real case scenario and tips on how the attack could have been eliminated can prove to be significantly useful.
● Plan for all the Devices
Almost 79% of organizations in the USA allow BYOD culture and personal phones and devices for business purposes. Similarly, around 61% of businesses worldwide implemented IoT applications. These technologies increase the number of endpoints. Hence, SMBs need to create an endpoint cybersecurity strategy covering all endpoint devices for unbreachable security.
● Deploy Intelligence-Based Security Solutions
Signature-based detection and protection are so old-fashioned. Adversaries have become smart, and they are coming up with innovative ways to breach systems. Hence, you need to become smart too and leverage machine intelligence-based security solutions that can automatically detect, prevent, and respond to advanced threats.
● Monitor All Events and Logs
Without efficient monitoring of events and logs, a breach can go undetected for years. For instance, a recent report says that financial services take an average of 230+ days to identify and respond to a breach. You can implement a SIEM solution to monitor all events and logs and create correlation rules that automatically trigger unusual behavior.
● Use Multi-factor Authentication
You might already be familiar with multi-factor authentication. It requires inserting codes for the second time to complete a certain procedure. No matter what, two or multi-factor authentication can be extremely useful in preventing cyberattacks.
How SharkStriker can Help SMBs Implement Cybersecurity Best Practices
The best practices mentioned earlier can help enhance your cybersecurity. But it all again sums up to additional costs. Implementing all the standard practices for security can cost SMBs a fortune. Hence, you need something that can provide you with best-in-class cybersecurity and is cost-effective at the same time. This is where Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs) come into the picture. They can bundle up everything and provide you with a single package to address all your security needs. Thus, you don’t have to go to multiple vendors for multiple solutions. However, not all MSSPs are equally efficient. You need to select an MSSP, like SharkStriker, wisely.
SharkStriker provides comprehensive cybersecurity from the ORCA (Observe, Response, Compliance, Awareness) platform built with an adversarial mindset. The platform covers everything and enables you to implement all the cybersecurity best practices in your organization. With SharkStriker, you get end-to-end security services that include:
Moreover, you also get additional benefits, such as 24/7 SOC teams, machine-accelerated threat hunting, cybersecurity experts to create correlation rules for SIEM, automated detection, and response, etc. Additionally, SharkStriker provides an open architecture solution. This means that our solution can integrate with your existing cybersecurity solutions like anti-virus, EDR, firewall, cloud platforms, etc. Thus, SharkStriker can help you quickly implement robust cybersecurity, thereby saving you valuable time. We offer comprehensive security services, which are fully managed so that you don’t even have to spend on local staff as our experts will handle everything.
Summing it up
The number of cyberattacks on SMBs is constantly increasing. Hence, although they don’t have the same budget, SMBs do require enterprise-level security in place. It’s time to take the necessary measures before you end up being a victim of a breach. Leveraging services from someone like SharkStriker can make all the difference that’s needed to secure your organization. Connect with our experts today and find out how SharkStriker can help your business become resilient.